Window Frame Damage from Frost

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Lodestone25

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Hi all, I live in MN and we get some pretty cold winters. I've noticed on the North side of my house, which is shaded all winter, I get frost on the inside of some of my window frames when it's -20 deg F or colder. It appears this has been happening for awhile (this is my first year in this house), because I the wood is discolored in the areas where there was frost during the winter. What is the proper way to handle this type of situation? Can i sand and restain or something? I'm hoping I can avoid a total window replacement, as thats more money than i have a budget for right now. Thanks for any ideas!
IMG-2447.JPG IMG-2448.JPG
 

oldognewtrick

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First off, :welcome: to House Repair Talk!

Have you inspected the exterior to make sure you don't have a water intrusion problem?
 

Lodestone25

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Thank you for the welcome and the reply! I don’t believe I have water intrusion issues, but I’m no expert in that so I’m not 100% sure. Is there something major I should be looking for there? The frost just slowly grew during the major cold spell this winter, and only on the north side of the house. It didn’t get much larger at maximum than the dark area in the photos.

Thanks again!
 

oldognewtrick

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Check the weather stripping to see if there are any voids or deterioration present. If cold air is allowed to enter, it could cause warmer moist air to create "frost" on the window. I'd suggest fixing the cause before you tackle the symptoms.
 

Lodestone25

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Thanks for the tip. I checked the weather stripping and didn’t see any obvious signs of wear. It looked surprisingly good actually. So I guess that’s a good sign?
 

nealtw

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I think that is condensation in the winter, the inside of the window is getting cold enough so warm moist air in the house is leaving water there.
Basement, concrete wall and window way passed the insulation to the outside?
 

bud16415

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The black I would try cleaning with bleach and see if it would help with that then let it dry and sand and then put some poly on it.


Storm windows might help in the future.
 

DFBonnett

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I did several windows like that over the years. Used oxalic acid to minimize the water stain, then restain and clearcoat the affected area. Never perfect but significantly improved.
 

sthole

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getting it to look better is one thing, but maybe look for ways to prevent the situation for upcoming winters. looks to be casement windows so that leaves out storm windows, unless you could have a plexi panel with frame made up to install on the inside of the windows. maybe window film (not the tinting kind) that wraps over the casing and adhered with tape and shrunk with a heat gun. but that would have to be put up and taken off yearly. if only one or two windows may a fan close by or a ceiling fan to keep the air moving across the windows. or just replace the windows. it look like they also don't seal very good. good luck......
 

Brendan Grace

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I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, so I know what Minnesota winters are like, lol. You have to keep your indoor humidity lower than 40% anytime the outside temperatures are below -10 Celcius. Use fans, and dehumidifiers as much as possible. If that window is in a kitchen, make sure you are ventilating whenever boiling water on the stove. That's the biggest issue during winter months.
 
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